Spider-Man: No Way Home is finally here. The film is a smash hit, with plenty of hugely satisfying and surprising moments - including some after the credits have played. We've gone through the end credits scenes for the new Spider-Man movie to break down what they mean for the future of the MCU.
We must of course warn you at this stage not to go ahead with reading this article unless you are okay with spoilers. We're going to talk in detail about major spoilers for the ending of the movie, so if you haven't seen it yet it may be worth waiting to read over this article.
One more time: this piece contains spoilers for Spider-Man: No Way Home. Don't say we didn't warn you...
Spider-Man end credits scenes explained
After an immensely satisfying two hours and thirty minutes of pure Spider-Man fun, we were treated to not one, but two credits scenes. The first, midway through the credits, showed Tom Hardy in his role of Eddie Brock/Venom, while the second served as the first teaser trailer for next year's Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness.
The first end credits scene followed on from the film's plot, which saw villains (and heroes) from previous Spider-Man movies outside of the MCU brought in to the universe of Tom Holland's Peter Parker. A botched spell by Doctor Strange early in the film led to previous villains Doctor Octopus, Green Goblin, Lizard, Electro, and Sandman all being brought into the MCU - as well as Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield's Spider-Men (is that the correct plural?).
The situation around this end credits scene (and the movie's "multiverse" implications at large) is a bit murky. SONY own the film rights to the Spider-Man franchise, but have allowed Disney to create films around Peter Parker, allowing for SONY to distribute them.
SONY have, however, continued to make Spider-Man films outside of the MCU, with the most recent example being Tom Hardy's 'Venom' movies.
The introduction of Eddie Brock was set up during the end credits scene to his film Venom: Let There Be Carnage earlier this year. The end credits scene to Let There Be Carnage depicted Hardy's character being "blipped" into the MCU, and the end credits scene to the new Spider-Man movie follows on from there.
The scene depicted Brock quizzing a bartender on the lay of the land in the universe of Holland's Spider-Man. After asking various questions about Thanos, Tony Stark and, indeed, Spider-Man, Brock was suddenly sent back to his own universe as a result of the spell cast by Doctor Strange at the movie's conclusion.
Crucially, a brief glimpse of the bar after Brock's disappearance showed a small blob of the Venom symbiote left behind on the counter, setting up the potential for the character to return as a villain for any future Spider-Man films.
The wider implications of the scene with Brock are interesting, suggesting that there may have been even more villains brought in to the MCU as a result of the spell-gone-wrong than we saw during the film's run time. With Morbius set to release and not currently seen as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it will be fascinating to see if Brock, or Morbius, or any of the villains, return to the MCU in the future.
It will also be fascinating to see if it goes the other way, with Tom Holland and co. brought into films set outside of the MCU, given the wrangling between SONY and Disney over the rights to Holland's Spider-Man films.
The second end credits scene was far more straightforward, merely serving as a teaser trailer for the upcoming Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness. Benedict Cumberbatch's Doctor Strange played a crucial role in Spider-Man - but the end credits scene suggests that his actions will have serious consequences for the character going forward.
Just announced in Hall H at #SDCC, Marvel Studios’ DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS with Benedict Cumberbatch and Elizabeth Olsen. Scott Derrickson returns as director. In theaters May 7, 2021. pic.twitter.com/HtF68htiB1
— Marvel Studios (@MarvelStudios) July 21, 2019
The trailer suggests that the damage of the spell wasn't undone when all of the "visitors" were sent back to their own universes, and that Strange will now have to fight hard to repair the after-effects. The teaser confirmed that Chiwetel Ejiofor's Karl Mordo from the first Doctor Strange movie will return, and that Elizabeth Olsen's Wanda Maximoff will return after the events of WandaVision.
Benedict Cumberbatch commented last week suggesting that he is concerned about the new Doctor Strange movie, with the British actor fearing the film may be lacking in a character arc for Strange himself, given how busy the plot is.
It certainly seems from the brief glimpse we were given that there will be a lot of ground to cover for the film's director Sam Raimi (coincidentally, the director of Tobey Maguire's original Spider-Man trilogy).
Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness is set to release on May 6 2022. It will be the first of three MCU films to be released in 2022, with Thor Love And Thunder to come in July and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever due in November.
The Spider-Man: No Way Home end credits scenes have set up a hugely exciting future for Doctor Strange in the MCU - and raised interesting questions about the implications of the film's conclusion for the future of the Spider-Man franchise.